Four Swedish artist musicians – Stella Explorer, Ellen Krauss, Sarah von Reis, and Miynt – talk about their creativity and explore their sense of self.
Stella is truly a unique individual and performer, highly visible and audible both in her music and her answers to our questions below.
“I am closing in on a position where most things seem irrelevant in relation to the state of society. I keep on trying to see something meaningful in interpreting that. Sometimes you succeed and sometimes it’s impossible to listen to your own footsteps. I try to remain positive.”
Stella has been called “an artist of the future” on Swedish radio. When asked what such praise means to her, she gives a thought-provoking answer:
“It depends on which part of the future you’re talking of. Thinking of what has happened this past week, it’s difficult to imagine a future (as an artist) in general. In a dystopia, we’ll probably sit under a windbreaker singing ‘Redemption Song’, if capitalism wants us to.”
This year, Stella gave the world the Lost Kingdom EP. The title carries great meaning for its creator.
“Lost Kingdom is my home where everything I’ve ever wanted and lost – what I haven’t dared and what I’ve envied – lives. It is a place that arises as a consequence of some kind of self-acceptance, or at least self-insight. It is a celebration of failure. It takes me a bit closer to myself, a little further away from the enemy. I believe it will lead me toward the sacred, the air and a wider, more beautiful landscape. Perhaps with flying jellyfish over the tree tops.”
Singer/songwriter and HBTQ+ rights advocate Ellen Krauss rose to fame in 2019 with her single ‘The One I Love’. Four years and one album later she is releasing new music and getting ready to face the household-name status that will surely come from her upcoming appearance in one of Sweden’s most beloved TV shows, ‘Så Mycket Bättre’, this autumn.
“Music becomes an important haven for me and a good weapon for spreading a message of hopefulness and openness,” she says. “When it comes to the threat against culture today, I am sure that one solution is just to continue to create and come together. And I go on more now than ever about getting to love whoever the fuck you want!”
Ellen’s heartfelt tunes have been called consoling and encouraging, to which she reacts humbly: “I don’t really know if I am a role model, but that my music has been described as comforting feels nice. I think that has to do with the fact that I am human and that I don’t hide behind anything. I represent a minority and my music tends to be self-revealing and intimate. And then maybe everything feels like that.”
Following her 2019 debut album Stay On Your Mind with last year’s semi-concept album Lonely Beach, alternative pop singer Miynt covers universal topics such as solitude in her dreamy tunes.
“I have to be lonely once in a while, which opens up the door to boredom and from boredom there is a straight path to creativity (if you don’t open your phone in between). I just spent 10 days alone on an island in the archipelago to finish my next album. It was amazing but also a bit eye opening because I realized how easily occupied I am with my surroundings. It felt a bit extreme that I had to become an eremite to finish my music. My goals for this autumn are to find a bit of balance and stop procrastinating. Quit Instagram and not download TikTok.”
This year, Miynt came out with single ‘Data Life’, which she calls “a metaphor of the space that happens between the parallel world that can occur in your head (or in your phone) and the ‘real world’ that we live in. I feel like the time when we are present has narrowed down to a minimum and a lot of times when things happen in life it is more about the story we tell in our heads or the photos we post on Instagram rather than what is actually happening. Everyone is just full of the idea of themselves and what their life is about, sometimes without even being in it. It’s sort of the backlash of our time.”
Sarah von Reis
After leaving bubblegum pop group Dolly Style around four years ago, Sarah von Reiss has taken on a more introspective solo career that has now started to blossom through the unveiling of her own individual style of dark pop.
“I released my debut EP Melancholia High Season this spring and it’s been incredibly liberating,” she says. “The whole process was delayed because of the pandemic, so some songs have been with me for long and they represent a time in my life that I’m ready to let go. I process a lot of my emotions through music, both darkness and light. This EP in particular contains a lot of the darkness.”
The step into this new solo project has clearly been a vehicle for Sarah’s personal, as well as creative, growth.
“I am trying to let go and learn to love life in constant change. It’s a luxury to be active in a genre-less time where everything is available but also overpowering and frightening at times. I attempt to pick the cherries off of what resonates with me, and to boil that down to something personal.”
In September 2023, Sarah released the single ‘Phenomenon’, a song she describes as “a lesbian anthem that I wasn’t ready to share a few years ago. My debut album is very personal. Everything else feels boring.”